Interview with Soil @ HMV Forum, London

Interview by Rowena Lamb
Photography by Inty Malcolm

Band Members:
Ryan McCombs – Vocals
Adam Zadel – Guitar
Tim King – Bass

The first and last time I saw you was at Hard Rock Hell in 2012.  It’s taken a while for you to come back to the UK how has the tour been so far?

Tim: We try to make a point of coming to the UK at least once a year. We were recording a record in early 2013.  We would normally come in the fall, like we would have but we were offered this Skindred thing and we wanted to hold out a little but to do this. We think it was a good choice.

I’ve seen the pictures on your Facebook page, you seem to be enjoying the best of British; Walkers Crisps and kebab shops.

Ryan: Yeah that’s pretty much the staple around here.

Adam: We’re no stranger to the street food that you have here and we love it.

So how have the other dates been so far because this is the penultimate night?

Tim: They’ve been great. Everything has been sold out so far with the exception of one, and tonight the London Forum is sold out, at capacity.  So the dates have been great, perfect combination of the two bands.  We actually toured together in 2002 and 12 years later we’re touring together again so it took a minute, but it’s really cool to be back out with these guys.

You’ve got just 2 days off before you hit mainland Europe.

Tim: No 1, we play Manchester tomorrow and then we have to get over to Germany.  Do the entire German run and we have 2 days off and we have to hit Australia for Soundwave.

Much nicer and hopefully warmer there.

Tim: Yeah it’s summer time there so it should be nice.

Though I will say that now you’ve hit London the sun did come out for the first time in a while.  So I am crediting you with the bit of sunshine we had today.

Adam: Yeah we’re a ray of sunshine.

Ryan:  I don’t like the sun, I don’t like the heat.

Well you’re in England so it’s alright.

Ryan: I’m in the right place.  It is right, this is my kind of territory here.

You had a tour before Christmas and now you’re coming back doing the UK, mainland Europe and then Australia.  It’s more like world domination than touring.

Ryan: Well I don’t know about that.  I’ve not wielded my battle axe yet but maybe someday. Once we’ve infiltrated all these areas.

Is there anywhere else yet that you haven’t managed to tour yet that you would like to go to?

Tim: We were actually just talking about that.  We would love to get over to South American and for some reason we have never been to Japan those would be two cool places to be.  I’ve heard a couple of people saying that China is starting to have a metal scene too so that would be interesting to check out.

I’ve heard that both places have got quite crazy audiences so if you could get over there that should work out well because your live show is very energetic.  Especially at Hard Rock Hell when I last saw you.

Ryan: If I recall that day I was as sick as a dog right.  I think I went to sleep right after we played that set. I still had to conjure up something though (Adam: I think it was the chateau.) Our touring drummer got lost in a sheep field somewhere.

Yeah that ended up being a crazy night, there are so many jokes.  Not jokes, just so many funny things that happened in the aftermath of that show that some of the people we shared that night with, there are still running jokes.  We’ve seen them on this run and we’re still laughing about things that happened in the aftermath of that concert.

When you first wrote songs like ‘Halo’ did you get to that point when you were recording it when you thought damn, this is going to be good, because it has become more like an anthem for you really.

Ryan: I’m a big America hairy winning machine, I wake up every morning and piss excellence so I kinda figured you know.

Tim: That song we didn’t even think of a single, it just took on a life of its own on a radio station in Florida of all places and just started blowing up.  It’s one of those songs like most hit songs, they just take on a life of their own and it’s been marvellous that it’s been a club hit for so long here.  You can’t go to a club day without pretty much hearing it.  So it’s great, it’s awesome, I mean it’s why we’re here right now still. Part of the reason, we’ve done a lot since then.

You said in an interview last year that your album ‘Whole’ is more getting back to around that era again.  Are there any songs there that when you were writing that album that you thought could have a similar impact?

Tim:   Well I mean a lot of the music is because the three of us are back together and it just came together that way.  The other thing is I think there is a little bit of the aggression and the excitement and everything that we had back in those times, because we were in uncharted territory when we were doing the ‘Scars’ record that we kind of had on the same ‘Whole’ thing; we were back together, we didn’t know what to expect.

We didn’t know how it was going to be received in 2014 and beyond and it just kind of all fell together and it definitely, well what we like to think of and what people have said, is that it has that ‘Scars’ feel to it, but in a more, in an up-to-date modern time.

You have the song ‘Shine On’ that you wrote.  Is it more like a thank you or an appreciation for the support from the fans?

Ryan:  I love the fact that it lyrically came spilling out of my head for this record because you look back to Scars and you have the song ‘Need To Feel’ which is this song to the crowd; that part of us that we have in us that we need that connection with the people that allow us to do what we do out there.  And then you fast forward now and we’re back together and we’re doing another record and this song comes out and it’s kind of like the next song in the line of ‘Need To Feel’ it’s the thank you for that.

Thank you for being there and for being that for us and that’s what the song is all about for me when I was writing it.  It was just a thank you to the people out there who take time out of life to come and see us play, to buy the cds and to give us a job to do.  So it was neat for me, looking at Scars’ Need to Feel and for having this song on this album.

This tour is obviously the focus for this year, so what’s next after that?

Adam: Next year’s focus?  More touring we’re going to start with a new single in the States you know and obviously when we do that it gets released everywhere.  The ‘Hate’ song’s going to come up next and we’re just going to play a lot more shows.  Hopefully lockdown a festival here, which is what we’re looking at right now and then again we’ll probably be back in the fall or winter time we hope as well.
Many Thanks Guys!
Thank you!